Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

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The most up-to-date information regarding our programs can be found on our website at alumnitravel.yale.edu. You can find PDF files for all available program brochures on our website. You may also request a printed brochure, and we will mail you one as soon as it is available. Detailed brochures for programs are produced approximately 6-9 months in advance of the trip.

Most of our program participants are Yale alumni, but tours also include family and friends as well as travelers from other backgrounds who are interested in a quality Yale experience. We are open to all who would like to participate in a Yale Alumni Travel program. While the alumni experience is an important aspect of our programs, we strive to make all participants feel included.

The number of participants on a typical program ranges from 10 to 40. Land programs are usually comprised exclusively of Yale registrants, whereas on many cruise programs, we share the ship with colleagues from other university alumni associations, museums and groups who share our common interests.

For most programs, there is a minimum number of participants required to operate. On the rare occasion when enrollment has not reached the tour operator’s minimum group size, we may need to cancel the program. In the event a program is cancelled, we will refund your registration payments in full.

Each year we invite participants to bring their families along on several programs designed specifically for multi-generational travel. These are opportunities for you to bring your children and grandchildren for a learning experience with other Yale Alumni and their families. During our family programs, planned to coincide with school vacations, we arrange for special, education-focused activities and offer reduced fees for children.

The age limit can vary depending on the destination. On most family programs children should be between the ages of 7-17 at the time of departure. For the more adventurous family programs, the minimum age may be adjusted upwards to 10-12 years of age.

Some adult travel programs are suitable for older children who have the necessary maturity and curiosity, and we welcome inquires about their participation. For non-family programs, however, children of any age must pay the price advertised for adult travelers. If you are interested in taking a child on a non-family program, please talk to us before you register in case the program is not appropriate for children.

We provide limited emergency evacuation services in the event of a major medical emergency or national event in the country you are visiting. While emergencies are rare on our programs, we hope this coverage provides our travelers extra peace of mind. We also strongly encourage all participants to purchase their own travel insurance including trip cancellation coverage.

In the event of an emergency medical situation, our home office should be immediately notified so that we can work together to assist you. Delays in notifying us may result in decreased assistance.

Note that this is neither personal health insurance nor travel insurance. Medical coverage is the responsibility of each individual participant. We encourage you to review the details of your health insurance and what is covered before you depart. Yale is not responsible for costs incurred for any required treatments such as, but not limited to, doctor appointments, medication, surgery, medical testing, physical therapy, etc.

Please contact us at 203-432-1952 if you have questions about your upcoming program or if you need additional information.

Very infrequently, a program’s faculty leader may need to withdraw for emergency reasons. In the event this happens, we will make every effort to secure a replacement lecturer and/or Yale host. If a replacement cannot be identified, our programs will still be accompanied by local expert guides who will provide high-quality interpretation and educational content during the touring experience.

Waitlist, Cancellation and Insurance

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Spaces for our programs may become available at any time, even close to departure. When a space opens up, we will contact wait list participants on a first-come, first-served basis depending upon whether the available space matches their requested accommodation and group size. If you would like to be added to the wait list for a program, you may do so through the program registration link on our website, by calling us at 203-432-1952, or by printing and mailing or emailing the registration form in the brochure.

Each program has a specific cancellation policy which is outlined on the website listing for that program and in the brochure. All cancellations must be submitted in writing. Please refer to the program’s web listing or brochure for complete cancellation information.

Yes. If the brochure is not available for a program, you may reserve a space on that program while you await the brochure. Once you receive the printed brochure in the mail, you have seven (7) days to cancel without penalty. After that period, regular cancellation fees will apply according to the terms and conditions outlined in the brochure and on the program description page on our website.

Our travel programs include basic emergency medical evacuation coverage for all US-based participants. Participants are strongly encouraged to purchase an additional travel insurance policy that includes trip cancellation coverage from a reputable vendor. Yale does not recommend a particular insurance product or vendor, and travelers are free to purchase the insurance of their choice. There is usually a short window of time (7-21 days from the first payment date) when travel insurance must be purchased and will allow for certain provisions (such as pre-existing conditions). If coverage for medical conditions, trip cancellation and other unexpected life events is important to you, please do not wait to purchase insurance.

When your registration for a program is confirmed, it is possible that the tour operator may recommend an insurance vendor. Even when using the tour operator’s insurance vendor, you must still purchase the policy immediately after confirming your registration in order to obtain coverage for pre-existing conditions. To find out more, please contact the tour operator upon registration.

Note that most insurance companies sell both primary and secondary insurance. Please be sure to clearly understand the insurance product that you purchase.

These are the general terms and conditions for a Yale Alumni Travel program. You will receive complete terms and conditions from the tour operator responsible for your particular program. Please refer to the program brochure for details.

MOBILITY AND FITNESS TO TRAVEL: The right is retained to decline, to accept, or to retain any person as a member of this trip who, in the opinion of the Yale Alumni Association (“YAA”) is unfit for travel or whose physical or mental condition may constitute a danger to themselves or to others on the trip. Passengers requiring special assistance, including without limitation those who permanently or periodically use a wheelchair, must be accompanied by someone who is fit and able to assist them, and who will be totally responsible for providing all required assistance.

CANCELLATION: YAA and our tour operators must strictly adhere to cancellation policies to offset costs incurred prior to the commencement of The Program, which may include but are not limited to: advance payments to land operators; ship charters; communication expenses; development/promotional expenses; and loss of time that might have permitted resale of reserved space. All cancellations must be made in writing to YAA, and are subject to a non-refundable administrative fee and any applicable penalties as stated in the program brochure.

PAYMENT SCHEDULE:  A deposit (specific amount stated in brochure and on YAA's website) is required with the reservation application. Final payment must be received by the date stated in the brochure.

HEALTH: All participants must be in good health. This program involves extensive walking over uneven surfaces, climbing stairs at monuments and other locations not handicapped accessible, and climbing in and out of various conveyances. Any condition that may require assistance or special medical attention must be reported at the time of your reservation.

INSURANCE: YAA provides basic emergency medical evacuation coverage for all US-based participants. Participants are strongly encouraged to purchase an additional travel insurance policy that includes trip cancellation coverage from a reputable vendor. Yale does not recommend a particular insurance product or vendor, and travelers are free to purchase the insurance of their choice. There is usually a short window of time (7-21 days from the first payment date) when travel insurance must be purchased and will allow for certain provisions (such as pre-existing conditions). If coverage for medical conditions, trip cancellation and other unexpected life events is important to you, please do not wait to purchase insurance.

When your registration for a program is confirmed, it is possible that the tour operator may recommend an insurance vendor. Even when using the tour operator’s insurance vendor, you must still purchase the policy immediately after confirming your registration in order to obtain coverage for pre-existing conditions. To find out more, you must contact the tour operator upon registration.

CHANGES IN ITINERARY AND COSTS: The itinerary is subject to change at the discretion of the YAA and our tour operator. All prices quoted are based on prevailing fuel prices, airfares, and currency exchange rates in effect at the time of brochure printing and are subject to change without notice. Deviations from the scheduled itinerary are at the expense of the individual.

RESPONSIBILITY CLAUSE: The participation of YAA is limited to promotional sponsorship of the program described in this brochure (The Program). YAA acts only as an agent for the participant with respect to transportation, accommodations, and all other services, relating to The Program. YAA, and/or their agents assume no responsibility or liability for any act, error, or omission, or for any injury, loss, accident, delay, or irregularity which may be occasioned by reason of any defect in any aircraft, ship, train, bus, or other carrier, or through neglect or default of any subcontractor or other third party, which may be used wholly or in part in the performance of their duty to the participants of The Program. The passage ticket issued by the carrier is the sole contract between the participant and the carrier. Nor will YAA and/or their agents be responsible for loss, injury, damages, or expenses to persons or property, due to illness, weather, strikes, local laws, hostilities, wars, terrorist acts, acts of nature, or other such causes in connection with The Program or anything beyond their reasonable control. YAA is not responsible for transportation or other program delays and changes, nor additional expenses or loss of time that may be incurred. In the event it becomes necessary or advisable for the comfort or well-being of the participants, or for any reason whatsoever, to alter the itinerary at any time, without notice to the participants, such alterations will be made without penalty to YAA. Additional expenses, if any, shall be borne by the participants. Baggage and personal effects are the sole responsibility of the participant at all times. YAA reserve the right to accept or decline any person as a participant at any time, or to require any participant to withdraw from The Program at their own expense when such an action is determined by YAA to be in the best interest of the participant’s health and safety, or the general welfare of the other participants.

AUTHORITY TO USE IMAGES AND AUDIO RECORDINGS: On occasion, YAA obtains, from its staff or from trip participants, photographic or video images of passengers and trip activities. By participating in this travel program, you authorize YAA, without providing compensation to you, or obtaining additional approvals from you, to include photographic and video recordings of you, as well as voice recordings included with any videos, in sales, marketing, advertising, publicity and/or training activities.

Reservations and Payment

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There are four ways to reserve your space on a program.

  1. RESERVE ONLINE: Reserve your place securely online with your credit card at alumnitravel.yale.edu. Search for the program that interests you, click the link, and select Register Now. As part of this process your credit card will be charged via PayPal.
  2. RESERVE BY PHONE: Call us at 203-432-1952 and we will be happy reserve your space right over the phone. Please have your credit card ready for the deposit. If you would like to make a deposit by check, we will hold your space for one week while we await your payment.
  3. RESERVE BY MAIL: Download or request a printed brochure and complete the form on the last page. Then send it to our office: Yale Alumni Travel, P.O. Box 209010, New Haven, CT, 06520-9010. Include your credit card deposit information or a check as indicated in the brochure, made payable to the program's tour operator. Credit cards will be charged via PayPal. For cruise programs, be sure to select your choice of cabin category.
  4. RESERVE BY FAX: Download or request a printed brochure and complete the form on the last page. Fax the form with your credit card deposit information to 203-432-0587. Your credit card will be charged via PayPal. For cruise programs, be sure to select your choice of cabin category.

There are two ways to reserve your space if the brochure is not available for a program.

  • RESERVE ONLINE: Reserve your place securely online with your credit card at alumnitravel.yale.edu. Search for the program that interests you, click the link, and select Register Now. As part of this process your credit card will be charged via PayPal.
  • RESERVE BY PHONE: Call us at 203-432-1952 and we will be happy reserve your space right over the phone. Please have your credit card ready for the deposit. If you would like to make a deposit by check, we will hold your space for one week while we await your payment.

Once you receive the printed brochure in the mail, you have seven (7) days to cancel without penalty. After that period, regular cancellation fees will apply according to the terms and conditions outlined in the brochure and on the program description page on our website.

If you register for a program via our website, you will receive an email acknowledgment immediately, however, your space is not confirmed at that point. We will respond within two (2) business days, by emailing you an official confirmation or by offering you a space on the wait list. If your registration is confirmed, our partner tour operator will mail you a packet of information about the program within (2) two weeks.

We may have additional cabins or types of rooms available that are not displayed online. If you do not see the accommodations you would like, please call us at 201-432-1952 or visit the Request Info page on our website and send us an email.

Our website is designed to take reservations for a maximum of four (4) travelers. For family programs please look for optional add-ons to register children as part of your party. If you are traveling with a group larger than four (4) people, please call us at 203-535-1952 to complete your registration by phone.

We work with a variety of different tour operator partners to organize our programs. Most accept only checks for final payment, however, please refer to the program brochure for details — or contact us at 203-432-1952. Programs that are organized entirely by us (such as the Theater Seminars), are eligible for full payment by credit card. We process credit card payments via PayPal.

Yes! We welcome with enthusiasm those who wish to travel alone, and we find that solo travelers typically enjoy the safety and camaraderie of our group programs. All programs have a limited number of single spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis for an additional fee. In rare cases, a travel vendor may waive the single supplement and if so, booking early is the best way to ensure a space. We are happy to take share requests though many single Yale travelers prefer private accommodations.

Travel visas may be required depending upon the program destination. After you register, our partner tour operator will inform you if a visa is needed and will provide instructions for obtaining one. International travelers and non-US citizens/green-card holders are responsible for determining any visa requirements for attending our programs.

You may obtain a second passport if your first one is being used for other purposes. The process can take time so please plan ahead.

Activity Levels and Accessibility

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Depending on the type of program, the level of extended or strenuous activity can vary. So that all involved may enjoy the experience, participants must be in good physical and mental health and be able to keep up with the pace of the group. Anyone requiring extraordinary assistance must bring a travel companion who will be responsible for providing such assistance. Due to their program responsibilities, we cannot ask our staff to provide such aid. On international programs, tour operators and cruise vessels may refuse passengers who are not in good physical or mental health – even after the program has departed.

By submitting a deposit, participants certify that they do not have any physical or other limitation that would create a hazard for themselves or other travelers. If you have any questions regarding the fitness level of a particular program, please contact us at 203-432-1952 to discuss the itinerary.

To help you choose the travel program best suited for you and to ensure the smooth and efficient operation of our programs, we describe them in the following categories:

  • Mildly Active — Easy pace, some walking and stair climbing. Possible standing for extended periods of time on tours.
  • Moderately Active — Faster pace, substantial distances covered (several miles a day), walking on uneven surfaces, and/or stair climbing (possibly without handrails). Standing for extended periods on tours. Possible Zodiacs (or similar water craft) on some cruise programs.
  • Active — Fast pace, long distances and/or extensive movement, extensive walking and hiking on rugged terrain, and/or extensive stair climbing. Possible high altitudes. Possible Zodiacs (or similar water craft) on some cruise programs. Itineraries may include hiking, biking, and whitewater rafting.
  • Challenging — High level of fitness and ability to sustain exercise for prolonged periods required, usually in remote or rugged regions with challenging terrain, possibly in high altitudes. Possible Zodiacs (or similar water craft) on some cruise programs. Itineraries may include hiking, biking, and whitewater rafting.
  • Strenuous — Vigorous activity in remote and rugged wilderness regions often at high altitudes. Steep and rocky terrain and encounters with snow and ice (or heat and sun) probable. Very high level of fitness and excellent physical health required. Possible Zodiacs (or similar water craft) on some cruise programs. Itineraries may include hiking, biking, and whitewater rafting.

Should you have a question about whether a program is right for you, please call us at 203-432-1952.

In most cases, an international program will not be accessible. Many countries are particularly challenging for those with physical limitations — cobbled stone streets, long staircases with no railings, etc. Ships have corridors that are too narrow to allow wheelchairs. Some historic sites have very limited access for those with impaired mobility. Anyone requiring extraordinary assistance must bring a travel companion who will be responsible for providing such assistance. Due to liability, our program staff cannot provide such aid.

It's important to choose a program that will accommodate you. Please contact us to discuss your needs at 203-432-1952. Once we have an assessment of your needs, we will work with our travel operator to determine if the program is right for you.